By Lt. Governor Bell
Things come at a sixteen year old girl fast—friends, school, homework, dates, sports, family, church, work. Thus, many high school juniors don’t think much about their future education. However, it’s not too early to think about admission tests, scholarships, and college savings.
Throughout their high school years, I talked to my daughters about what college would be right for them. We’ve always talked about college in our family and have visited several campuses along the way. As our daughters saw their friends choose to attend the UofU, BYU, Weber, SLCC or USU, they became more interested in where they wanted to go. Andrea chose Weber State and had a wonderful experience.
But I want to tell you about my daughter Eliza. Eliza wanted to have the whole college experience with pennants, pom-poms, and riding in a jump seat of a smart roadster wrapped in buffalo robes before the Harvard-Yale game. Well, not quite that. But she did want to live away from home and immerse herself in college life. We talked about the alternatives, but nothing caught her fancy. I suggested that she consider BYU-Idaho. That really intrigued her and her friend Tara. We traveled to Rexburg, ID to check it out. Eliza and Tara liked what they saw. They applied, were admitted and had a terrific college experience.
A lot of kids make their own way. But many don’t. Getting into college and paying for it can be overwhelming. A lot of college-worthy kids get intimidated and never attend. Most students need guidance, not only about where to go, but what to study and what to major in. Dad, you’re in the best position to counsel your daughter about her education and career choices. You know how the world works. You’re not intimidated by applications and admissions. You may have gone to college yourself, so it’s no mystery to you. You know the value of a good education in today’s competitive work environment. Your daughter probably needs your help; at least she’ll appreciate it a lot. Enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see your little caterpillar change into a butterfly. During these critical college years, a student will likely choose a career, a future and often even a spouse. Be there at the start to guide her and support her. It will always be a bond between you and your precious daughter.
Had I not suggested it, I strongly doubt Eliza and Tara would have landed at BYU-Idaho. Thankfully, it all turned out well. Tara graduated with a major which prepared her for a rich career. Eliza’s graduation was interrupted by marriage and children. But she’ll be back to finish sometime, I’m confident.
NOTE: I think highly of a technical education (Career and Technical Education), whether obtained at one of our applied technology colleges, our colleges, or a private technical school. We need the professionals who are educated and trained in our ATCs, such as machinists, welders, diesel mechanics, nurses, medical technicians, composite workers, engineering techs.